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VA Palo Alto Health Care System


Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC)

The primary mission of the VA Palo Alto Health Care System’s Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) is to advance scientific knowledge regarding the medical, psychological, and social well-being of older Veterans (65 years of age and older), and the methods for improving the ability to address these issues through geriatric and gerontological research, training of health care personnel in the provision of health care of older individuals and in aging research, and development and evaluation of improved models of clinical services for eligible older veterans. Furthermore, it is our goal to develop effective interdisciplinary team efforts to solve significant issues in aging and geriatric health services delivery.


The clinical care component of the VA Palo Alto GRECC includes interdisciplinary team (geriatrician, clinical nurse specialist, social worker, and psychology) primary care clinics and two consult clinics, one of which is a telehealth consult clinic which serves 4 rural or geographically distant CBOC. The primary care and consult clinics serve as teaching sites for the geriatric medicine fellows, internal medicine residents, medical students, advanced practice nurses, and trainees in psychology, social work, and other allied health professions. The clinical expertise of the VA Palo Alto GRECC is in the areas of cognitive impairment and mood disorders as well as geriatric medicine. The clinical programs include neuropsychological testing for suspected dementia or for capacity evaluations, which is provided by telehealth to several rural Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs); provision of E-consults for health professionals regarding management of behavioral issues in dementia and other geriatrics questions suited to E-consult; and provision of tailored phone-based socialization, educational, and recreational activities to older Veterans in rural settings.


Our research focus includes three components: (1) Basic Biomedical where research emphasis is on cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in age-related decline in steroid hormone production (Azhar); delineate the mechanisms involved in age-induced alterations in cellular lipid metabolism and their relevance to obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (Azhar); to understand the mechanisms underpinning the initiation, natural remission, and progression of autoimmune disease particularly of rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis and develop targeted therapeutics that cure these diseases (Robinson); investigation of the role of metabolic disorders and oxidative stress-induced cellular damage in the development of neurodegenerative diseases and the aging process (Huang); understanding molecular processes that underlie aging and age-associated pathologies in mammals (Chua); investigation of the role of immune and injury responses in neurodegeneration and Alzheimer's disease and aging (Wyss-Coray); and research on stem cell biology, muscle stem cell aging, muscular dystrophies and tissue engineering (Rando); and 2) Applied Clinical with emphasis on using health information technology for quality improvement in clinical care (Goldstein); improving the quality of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) care among older adults (Tamura); develop and implement self-directed treatments for geriatric mental health problems that can be delivered using technology (Gould); and teaching older adults evidence based skills with minimum provider time can both promote self-management of mental issues and address the shortage of geriatrics metal health providers (Gould).

The Research Foci of the VA Palo Alto GRECC are:

  • Inflammatory mechanisms in degenerative disease: Alzheimer’s disease, and arthritis;
  • Endocrinology and metabolism of aging: impact of oxidative stress on aging;
  • Implementation and quality improvement research;
  • Aging and mental health; and
  • Care of elderly patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)/End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)/Mechanisms of cognitive impairment in CKD/ESRD.

Health Care Professionals and Researchers are invited to attend our weekly seminars:

Clinical Core Curriculum Seminar Series
Tuesdays 3:00 - 4:00 pm
3801 Miranda Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94304
Building 4, 2nd Floor, Room C-260, GRECC
Also available by telephone and video-teleconference lines.

Contact Info


  • 3801 Miranda Ave
    Palo Alto, CA 94304
    Building 4, Room C-260

Contact Number(s)

  • 650-858-3933

Hours of Operation

  • M-F 8am - 4:30pm